I am a lucky woman! My work travels far often via enthusiastic teachers, many of whom have used my ideas in the UK and then taken them successfully to their new international school. I am a consultant too and have trained in many international schools – and have just arrived back from giving a two day workshop to St Ignatious Primary and Secondary schools in the Cayman Islands. It was exciting work and, as well as involving the young people, parents were invited too! As ever – I was knocked out by how fabulous so many of these teachers and TA’s are.
These are people from all cultures, experiences and social contexts many of whom have made a huge decision to leave all that is safe and predictable (also annoying and frustrating) to live in another exotic challenging country. This decision takes a huge leap of faith, self-belief, courage and vision. I am not saying these are all great teachers (although but many of them are) but they are definitely all interesting people. In the Caymans I met extraordinarily creative, quirky, sensitive, fun, compassionate and warm people. Some from the Caymans, many from other countries. There is wonderful potential, through living alongside people who have hugely different views, experiences and beliefs that you will either (worst scenario!) fall out or learn real tolerance, empathy and true respect for individual differences. You need a brand of security to grow and let go of some of your fiercely held views – and a real ability “to be bigger than any behaviours that hurt you”.
(Pictured above – the very beautiful blue iguana, endemic to the Cayman Islands but an endangered species.)
Interestingly the magical mix that makes the staff so special is mirrored in the mix of children they teach. Again, all the different family, social and ethnic contexts means that these children can learn, especially through weekly circle time, so much about themselves and each other.
So folks – I am in awe of your choices, you determination to make this work, to pursue knowledge and to take risks. Sometimes when the storm clouds gather and the wind whips eerily through the palm trees tapping on my hotel window I lose my nerve and wonder if I would be one of the first to wimp my way back home to hot water bottles, Cadbury’s chocolates and soggy autumn leaves.
Website manager’s note:
Jenny wrote this blog after returning from a training trip to the Cayman Islands in August 2012 which is part of Jenny’s International Itinerary for 2012. Other International training trip this year include Brazil, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Many of Jenny’s international bookings – including the international school of Rio – send delegates onto Jenny’s Train the Trainers course in the UK as an efficient way of gaining deeper knowledge of the model and bringing back to the school a specific skills and knowledge set that can help to bring about positive transformations. Some international schools host a Train the Trainers course in their school so that they have a whole school vision and their pre-schoo and nursery teachers attend with the primary and secondary teachers for a continuous approach through a student’s school years.
Last year Jenny and her model were instrumental in an important action research project in India entitled Safe and Sensitive Schools – click the link here to see a video that has resulted from the research.
Jenny regularly contributes keynotes, training and workshops at large conferences in the UK and abroad. If you are holding a conference in the UK or abroad contact us on 01225 767157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us do the work for you.